Motivation by Design: Technologies, Experiences, and Incentives – Andrea Wiggins

Thursday 16th February

Speaker: Andrea Wiggins | website

Theme: Motivation by design: Technologies, Experiences and incentives

She has holistic view, focused on multiple motivations she suggest that science + personal interests come together by design. She differentiated between 2 approaches: science first design vs. citizen first design. Her suggestion is to promote citizen science from the citizens point of view.

Science first design
data entry
experience focus on simplified science

Citizen first design
tech focuses on ease of use
experience adapt to existing leisure activities
self reward and socially rewarded

She suggest there need to be incentives “there is always something in it for them” yet from her research
25% provides no reward at all, 55% public acknowledgement, naming privileges 2%, editor & moderator privilege 2%, co-authorship 8%

She suggest that “data entry is dull” and limits who participates – usability is paramount for participation. The key is making it easy and worthwhile for people to participate. One of the key things that makes it worthwhile for people is visulisations.
“A spark goes off in their head when they see the visualisation but these are out of the scope of many of the projects”
She suggest that the main participants are 40+ who actually do the work, so HCI is even more important.

She discussed gamification, but cautions that it is not an easy answer. The costs are always higher than expected. Friendly competition about creating more data it a winner. She mentioned that via smart phone apps, people do 100 time more clicks then online via web. App based classification is comthing that can be done while queuing in line .

So the answer to better Citizen Science is design and asking certain questions before you start.

Who will participate?
Why will they participate?
How will they be rewarded?
How can experiences be expanded?

Currently citizen science project only allow a single mode/activity for people to participate. We need to  allow higher level involvement.The main issues is that it take time – organiser time and attention is the main cost.

1 upfront and in depth consideration of audience and interests
2 good design is not optional
3 make satisfying experiences for social interaction and deeper engagement

Deep engagement needs to have some impact on their real life. Ecological health of their neighborhood is a real impact.
Gauging happiness is difficult. Direct feedback mechanisms like email or surveys are the best way of doing this.

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